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An Interview With: Madison Keys (Round 2)

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Q. How did you feel out there? What was it like playing on Ashe?

MADISON KEYS: It was amazing. I don't know if it's because of the roof now, but it didn't seem as big as I thought it was going to feel. It was amazing to play out there. You know, I thought I played pretty well, so hopefully I can have many more matches on Ashe.

Q. Did you feel as good as you looked out there?

MADISON KEYS: I'd like to think so. You know, I thought I felt pretty good, played pretty consistent, was aggressive. You know, I feel like a lot of my shots were working for me today.

Q. Do you feel like American fans are starting to know your name a little bit more, especially coming out on Ashe today?

MADISON KEYS: I think so. I think I have slowly kind of had my name out there a little bit more and had some success, so I think, you know, I'm a little bit more of a known American player. I think the support is always great.

Q. You spoke about playing now on Ashe. Do you know much about Arthur Ashe, anything about him and his role in tennis and in life?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, I think he was obviously an amazing player and did a lot for the game. You know, you always know that a person was not only a good tennis player but a good person just based on, you know, when they have stadiums named after them. I mean, we learned so much about him. I think we're really lucky to be able to have a name like that.

Q. Given your history with Radwanska, if she's your opponent in the next round, what will be your areas of emphasis to try to turn things around against her?

MADISON KEYS: You know, I think I have always kind of struggled with Radwanska's game a little bit. She just seems to always kind of get that extra ball back. You know, I think going into that match just a little bit more patient but still going for my shots.

Q. What makes her so tough besides the fact that she seems to get everything back?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, she never gives up. She's always on every point. You know you're going to have to hit six great balls, whereas you normally only have to hit four.

Q. How is your level of confidence on the hard courts right now versus when you played against her on the hard courts and didn't have the results you would have liked?

MADISON KEYS: I'm feeling pretty good. I'm, you know, really excited for the next round. Hopefully I can go out and do something similar today.

Q. You had your fabulous result in Melbourne and a good run here. Been some bumps this year. Can you assess your year so far?

MADISON KEYS: I think so far this year it's probably been the best year that I have had. It hasn't been perfect. There have been some ups and downs, but I think that's the nature of tennis. I still haven't quite figured everything out. You know, pretty happy with how I have done so far and, you know, just going to try to build off of that and hopefully do well here, go into the Asia swing, and then hopefully have a more consistent year next year.

Q. You have spoken before about what it is like to watch Serena Williams and your respect for what she's done. What do you think you have learned from watching her play and seeing how she's conducted herself during her career?

MADISON KEYS: I think her drive and fight is, I mean, unmatched by anyone. I mean, she's amazing to watch, and you can see that even when she's down a set and a break, you never really think, Oh, Serena's going to lose this match. You always have this feeling that she can come back from anything. I think it's really incredible to watch.

Q. Mardy Fish is putting out an incredible performance right now. He suffers from anxiety problems. How do you deal with -- I mean, I know you have gone through some tough moments in your own life, but how do you deal with the anxiety of just playing day in, day out with big matches?

MADISON KEYS: You know, I think sometimes you handle it better than others, but I think that's kind of part of tennis. You know, not only is it just a physical game, but it is a mental game. You know, it's great to see Mardy playing so well and, you know, having a great US Open. So, you know, hopefully he can do well. Yeah, I mean, I think it's something that people don't always realize that it can be an issue and it can be something that people struggle with. So the fact that he's, you know, so open to talking about it, you know, I think it helps a lot of other people who have maybe had issues with it, as well.

Q. Have you had any moments of fans recognizing you on the streets of New York or anywhere you have traveled this summer in the U.S.?

MADISON KEYS: I have had a couple. I think the funniest one was in LA. A woman recognized me as she was driving and hit her brakes and rolled the window down and screamed out of her window. I think that was probably the funniest encounter I have had. (Laughter.)

Q. What did she say to you?

MADISON KEYS: She was freaking out and rolling down her window, and I was like freaking out and screaming my name and was like, I love you. I'm like, Okay. Don't crash. Bye. (Laughter.)

Q. How did that make you feel?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, I think it made me feel good in the sense that I have obviously been doing pretty well for someone to recognize me, but I also thought it was really funny.

Q. Who would you stop on the streets of LA to say, Hi, I admire you, or, Hi, I love you?

MADISON KEYS: Maybe Jennifer Lawrence. I saw Nicole Richie one day ans she was with her kids. I have this bizarre love for Nicole Richie. I was so nervous I didn't even say anything. I just kind of like awkwardly stared at her for a while.

Q. It's been a long time since you have had to be a lucky loser in a tournament. I'm just wondering what's that like? What is that process of waiting to see whether or not you get into the main draw and then taking the court to play like that first match?

MADISON KEYS: It's definitely different. I think I have only gotten in as a lucky loser once and it was in Madrid. I was just sitting there for hours, you know, just wondering if I was ever going to get in, and then all of a sudden got in, had five minutes to change, and then was on the court playing Li Na. And then the next week I was the first lucky loser, and I stayed there from like 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night for three days straight and did not get in. So, I mean, it's great when you get in and it sucks when you don't get in. But you also know those couple of times that you've gotten in makes you stay there for the 12 hours a day when you don't get in.

Q. Is it different mentally or physically, whatever it is, playing as a lucky loser in that first match than with any other tournament?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, I think you play a lot looser just because you think that you're out and everything. I feel like you also don't usually have time to overthink anything. I think, you know, the person having to play the lucky loser, it's also difficult sometimes just because you go in expecting to play this one person and you're all planned for it, and then all of a sudden a new person is thrown at you.

Q. When you hear that a dozen players through the first round retire during matches, what's your immediate reaction or theory about that?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, I think it's unfortunate. Obviously no one wants to retire. I mean, it's sad and I hope that everyone is okay. It's all I really think about it, though.

Q. In terms of any common denominators or things you would be concerned about with that many players retiring in one round, what strikes you?

MADISON KEYS: I mean, I don't know why people are retiring and things like that, so I feel like I can't really give a good answer.

Q. Not to overlook Radwanska, but when you saw the bracket and saw Serena and all those American names in your corner, what was your reaction

MADISON KEYS: I actually didn't even look at the draw. (Smiling.)

Q. That's one way to go about it. What's the best thing about Lindsay?

MADISON KEYS: I think she's been such a positive for me just in the sense of, you know, I can be really tough on myself and she's always just in my corner. You know, even after some of, you know, the worst matches or a really bad loss or something like that, she's just always there to remind me, It's tennis. Have fun. Enjoy it. You know, as bad as things can get, she also is always saying, You have so much upside and can play so well, so let's get back out there and try to play well.

Q. So in a way, does that take a certain pressure off of you?

MADISON KEYS: For sure. I think it's always really nice knowing that no matter what, your support team and all of that is always behind you.

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